You might think, what with this low-key stretch between the Super Bowl and March Madness, that the sports season has hit something of a lull.

You’d be so, so wrong. That is, if you’re willing to build your fanaticism around a half-hour of rerun television at midnight on TNN -- which, no longer "The Nashville Network," seems more to stand for "The Network that shows Nothing but wrestling and Star Trek."

The cable channel is putting its entertainment expansion eggs into the basket of a couple lunatics with a fetish for bouncing and balls. Recently, it started showing -- and now, re-showing -- slamball, an extreme team sport that’s a cross between basketball, hockey, trampolining, and that Saturday Night Live sketch where Mike Myers plays the hyperactive kid whose child-leash yokes him to the jungle gym and yanks him back to it when he attempts frenetic fleeing.

It’s completely insane. And in many ways, ingenious.

There’s four trampolines of various sizes around and under each basket, with an expanse of court between them. The arena is encased in plastic walls, just like hockey, because slamball is full-contact, and as such the players wear helmets and knee and elbow pads. And as such, they use the trampolines as an excuse to smash into each other and fold each other in half like cheap paper in a crack whore’s diary.

The players can shoot and score normally, or they can take to the tramps and bounce their way toward a hoop, or each others’ genitals. Because it takes approximately three seconds to cross the court, the halves are limited to eight minutes so that participants won’t score more than George Clooney. A dunk is worth three points, as opposed to regular lay-ups or other mid-air scores, which count for less. Fouling, or otherwise befouling one another, results in a one-on-one under the hoop wherein the victim charges the hoop and the perpetrator tries to block the shot. Slam. Bang. Crotch. Ouch. Boo-ya.

The roster includes former football and basketball players, in addition to the odd streetball legend, inasmuch as playground hoopsters can build a mystique ("He once played Horse for ten hours!"). Apparently, the league recruited college athletes who weren’t ever quite good enough to make it in the pros -- er, I mean, six teams’ worth of guys who prefer to play a sport untarnished by rich sponsorships and unencumbered by the heavy burden of such problems as media coverage, or popularity.

You have to love the eager commentators, though, who -- not unlike the lads who call wrestling matches -- deadpan everything with the enthusiasm of one who believes he is watching the NBA Playoffs and the excitement is almost, almost, about to be his bladder’s undoing. And then there’s the coaches, one of whom is a 27-year old snot-nose in a suit who would be most unsettled if you pointed out that he is not, in fact, billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and all of whom let cameras film their halftime pep talks and "strategy sessions" that involve saying like, "Play defense, and also some offense," and "Keep playing, because the game is not over."

But slamball wouldn’t be the majestic spectacle it is without my favorite part: the Least Valuable Player award.

Yes, the commentators bestow the dubious LVP honor at the end of each game; when I watched the Mob beat the Diablos, the LVP was a Diablo who co-created the game and who, apparently, should’ve learned to play his brainchild beyond reproach before starting himself at center and unleashing slamball upon the cable audience.

My brother-in-law and I found ourselves mildly perturbed by how rapt slamball made us, although it’s as likely we’re just simple zombies who’ll stare at anything as long as it’s flashing across the screen of our beloved lover and best friend, The Television Set. Also, beer is an important ingredient. But the thing is, slamball’s kind of awesome, in a hypnotic, suddenly-I-want-to-go-hijack-the-neighbor’s-trampoline kind of way. One of the game’s creators, a streetball alumnus they call "Inches" because he stands just seventy of them -- which is a stupid little moniker, too, come to think of it, because 5'10" isn't that small; it's not like he's a flying slamball midget or anything, but wouldn't that be spectacular? He could be like the evil bunny in Holy Grail who bounces back and forth from people's necks inflicting life-threatening wounds and dribbling blood on his sweet li'l fluffy bunny fur -- likes to take flight from the far trampoline and perform a bunch of mid-air gymnastics before takin’ it to the house. Oh, yeah, that’s right, baby, I speak the lingo.

But seriously, I think slamball’s appeal is pretty transparent. I mean, who among us hasn’t dreamed of a world in which all our major ball sports are played on or near the mighty trampoline?

Just think what the language of bouncing could add to John Madden’s color commentary.

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